Meriden War Memorial

Overview

Heritage Category:
Listed Building
Grade:
II
List Entry Number:
1458830
Date first listed:
28-Sep-2018
Location Description:
located at the junction of Berkswell Road and Main Road, Meriden, Solihull

Map

Ordnance survey map of Meriden War Memorial
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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Location

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Location Description:
located at the junction of Berkswell Road and Main Road, Meriden, Solihull
District:
Solihull (Metropolitan Authority)
Parish:
Meriden
National Grid Reference:
SP2445981974

Summary

First World War memorial, erected in 1920, with later additions for the Second World War.

Reasons for Designation

Meriden War Memorial is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

Historic interest:

* as an eloquent witness to the tragic impact of world events on the local community, and the sacrifice it made in the conflicts of the C20.

Architectural interest:

* for its compositional design as an accomplished and well-realised calvary cross; * for the sculptural interest of the cast-iron figure of Christ and good quality craftsmanship overall.

Group value:

* with Meriden Hall (Grade II*).

History

The great age of memorial building was in the aftermath of the First World War with tens of thousands of memorials erected across England. This was the result of both the huge impact on communities of the loss of three quarters of a million British lives, and also the official policy of not repatriating the dead which meant that the memorials provided the main focus of the grief felt at this great loss.

Meriden War Memorial was paid for by Mrs Bankes, whose husband Captain E Bankes died during the conflict and is commemorated on the inscription panel. The land upon which the memorial stands formed part of the Meriden Hall (Grade II*) estate and was donated by Mrs Bankes.

Meriden War Memorial commemorates 13 local servicemen who died during the First World War as well as 78 men who served and returned. Following the Second World War, a plaque was added to commemorate seven men who died and a further eight men who returned.

In 1995 the figure of Christ was stolen. It was recovered in 1997 and restored as part of a conservation and repair project partly funded with a grant from War Memorials Trust.

Details

First World War memorial, erected in 1920, with later additions for the Second World War.

MATERIALS: a stone platform, base and pedestal with a timber, canopied cross and a cast-iron figure of Christ. The inscription panels are granite.

DESCRIPTION: located at the junction of Berkswell Road and Main Road the war memorial comprises a stone platform, a three-stepped square base, and a pedestal surmounted by a calvary cross with a canopy. The pedestal has a splayed base rising to concave corners and a moulded cornice. To either side of the inset inscription panels are engaged chamfered and moulded pillars with broach stops. On the front (north-east) face of the chamfered timber cross is a cast-iron figure of Christ, painted white. Above is a small scroll shaped plaque inscribed with the initials ‘INRI’, Iesus Nazarenvs Rex Ivdaeorvm, translated as Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews. The chamfered barge boards of the timber canopy include the carved inscription THEY LOVED NOT THEIR LIVES UNTO THE DEATH.

To the front-facing (north-east) panel of the pedestal is the inscription:

OF YOUR CHARITY PRAY / FOR THE SOULS OF THOSE / WHO FELL IN THE / GREAT WAR

Beneath are the names of 13 men who died.

The panel on the south-east face is inscribed:

IN GRATITUDE FOR THOSE / WHO RETURNED SAFELY

with the names of the additional 78 men who served and returned recorded on this and the panels to the other two sides.

A plaque has been added to the top step with the dates 1939-1945 and the names of seven men who died in the Second World War. An additional plaque records the names of the eight men that returned.

Sources

Websites
Meriden War Memorial, accessed 18 July 2018 from http://www.warmemorials.org/search-grants/?gID=324
Meriden War Memorial, accessed 18 July 2018 from https://www.iwm.org.uk/memorials/item/memorial/17573
Meriden War Memorial, accessed 18 July 2018 from https://www.warmemorialsonline.org.uk/memorial/106371

Legal

This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

End of official listing

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